Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Republica del Cacao Manabi

Lindy's Rating: 6.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 6.0 (previously **)

chocolate makerRepublica del Cacao
cacao trees(unknown)
size50g ~ 1.8oz
cocoa solids75%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A

colordark brown
PANTONE 19-1314 Seal Brown
texturesmooth with text imprints and scoring
aromafig, mint, spice, hint of earthy
snapmedium hard
tastefig, sweet, prune, hint of date
finishslightly ashy, slightly acidic
Republica del Cacao is the chocolate maker whose Los Rios bar generated strong reactions in our December blind chocolate tasting. Their Manabi bar is a regional chocolate made from cacao beans of the Manabi province of Ecuador.

This 50 gram Manabi bar had text imprints and was scored into 4 large pieces (as shown above). The color was an interesting dark brown. Under a combination of natural and fluorescent light, it most closely matched Seal Brown (PANTONE 19-1314) and was the first chocolate we've reviewed to do so.

The aroma of this chocolate was less pronounced that others we've reviewed. Fig was the most noticeable scent, followed by mint, spice, and a hint of earthiness. The snap was medium hard.

Republica's Manabi had a complex dried fruit taste that was predominantly fig, but also contained suggestions of prune, date, and others. There was also a sweet flavor, but neither of us were able to conclusively identify it.

The melt was smooth, and the post-chocolate flavor lasted 5 seconds, right at the border between minimal and short. The finish seemed ashy to Lindy and slightly acidic to me.

Overall, we both liked this bar better than Los Rios, and rated it **.

I've tasted three Ecuador chocolates so far (two of which are reviewed on this blog), and find myself somewhat disappointed. Despite the fame of Ecuador's Arriba cacao, I generally much prefer chocolates from Venezuela and Madagascar. However, we will review other chocolate makers and chocolates from Ecuador and hopefully find an outstanding chocolate from that region. All our reviews of Ecuador chocolates can be found here or by clicking on the Ecuador link under the Labels section in the right column or the end of this post.

Manabi is available online at Chocolopolis for $3.99.

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